Napa Workshop 2017

A few weekends ago was the Napa workshop hosted by Bella of @ful.filled, Sarah of @bromabakery, and myself.  It was an incredible experience,  so I wanted to do a quick recap of the event…mostly so I can stop pinching myself over whether it was real or not!

The three of us and 16 other people stayed for four days at an incredibly beautiful property in the heart of Napa.  There, we held workshop classes, cooked, ate, enjoyed the amenities of the house (including a stunning veranda overlooking hills of a Vineyard) and shared stories and knowledge about our craft.  I can safely say that we all came away from the workshop with new experiences that will last a lifetime.  I am honored to have been a part of it and shared my cooking and knowledge with a group of absolutely incredible people. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the great things about staying in this beautiful place is that there is no shortage of scenery.  As you can see from the photos, virtually every inch of this property has something special about it. From the living rooms with ceiling high windows overlooking the valley to the guesthouse with attached chicken coop, we couldn’t have asked for a better venue.  The hot tub under the stars was an especially nice touch!  As was dining under the start every night.  The amazing thing about being in the countryside is that there are waaaay less night lights to block out the beautiful stars, So we were able to see every crystal clear constellation.  As we dined and shared each other’s company, we also shared stories and experiences.  By the end of the weekend, it really felt like family. 

I think the highlight of my trip was the pizza demo.  As anyone who knows me can attest, I’m obsessed With pizza.  So something that always satisfies me is teaching others how easy it is to make really good pizzas at home.  And as an added bonus, the property came with a wood oven, which as any pizza enthusiast knows  is by far the beat way to cook a pizza…am I saying “pizza” a lot?  Anyway, we all hung out outside and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather with a slice of pizza in hand. What could be better?

Another favorite moment was watching how masterfully Sarah put together her desserts.  I watched in awe as she made one of the most decadent  caramel sauces I have ever tasted.  And the thing about Sarah is that she makes everything she does look easy As if she could do it I  her sleep.  A better example of skill and poise just can’t be found.  It was a truly amazing watching her work.

With a weekend filled with so many amazing moments, its hard to imagine that any one could concentrate on learning.  But fortunately Sarah and Bella make one awesome team.  Their lessons brought the magic of the weekend into something tangible.  I specially loved watching the group come together to learn a skill and then practice that skill with the food I prepared for them.  The whole experience is one of the most satisfying things I can say I have done in my professional career.

Pizza wasn’t the only thing that we got to eat over the weekend.  We enjoyed great meals including a Strata made with caramelized mushrooms and onions, oven roasted chicken and grill finished gnocchi with roasted honey nut squash.  and crispy, delicious papas bravas with mojo verde.  All of which have recipes right here on this blog.

With the whole experience behind me, I can see that it was a very special weekend.  Both the location and most importantly the people involved came together to bring something incredible into life.  I am quite looking forward to future workshops, but this weekend will always live in my memory as something special that culminated into a once in a lifetime experience.

Special thanks to @ful.filled, @bromabakery, @ashcuoco, and @sunny.frantz for providing me with this stunning photography!!

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